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Aerospace is a technology-heavy business.  But the pace of technology change is accelerating.  Consider just 15 years ago that composites were too expensive and unproven for aircraft structural applications, large geared turbofans were a lab experiment, hybrid cars were new, flip phones were state of the art, and the hard drive on my computer had less storage than my USB thumb drive today.  And technology continues to accelerate at a faster pace.

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Lufthansa and CFM International are celebrating the achievement of 100,000 flight hours by one of the airline’s CFM56-5C engines more than 20 years after Lufthansa took delivery of its first Airbus A340-300.  The airline was the launch customer for the CFM56-5C-powered A340 and put the first aircraft into revenue service in February 1993.  Lufthansa currently operates 18 CFM-powered A340 aircraft.

The engine (ESN 740146) entered commercial service with Lufthansa on November 16, 1993 on one of the first Airbus A340 aircraft delivered.  Over the course of its service life, the engine has been fully overhauled four times at Lufthansa Technik. Lufthansa reports: “The engine with the serial number ESN 740146 began its career on November 16, 1993 on one of the first aircraft of the then newly developed long-haul type, the Airbus A340. The engine was first used in position 3 (inside right) on the Lufthansa A340-200 D-AIBF (“Bravo Foxtrott”, MSN… Continue reading

Bombardier announced that its 2016 C Series deliver schedule will be delayed, while citing the statistics from the first two aircraft in service with Swiss.  The good news is that the two CS100 aircraft in service with SWISS have collectively flown nearly 400 revenue flights, and accumulated nearly 600 flight hours.   The bad news is that Bombardier stated engine delivery delays will cause delivery reductions from a planned 15 to only 7 aircraft in 2016.  Since the OEMs are paid their final installment on delivery of aircraft, it impacts revenues and cash flow. The company will deliver the third CS100 to SWISS next month and deliver the first CS300 to airBaltic in the fourth quarter.

The supply chain is under stress.  During the UTC media day event prior to the Farnborough airshow,  P&W pointed out their greatest concern was parts supply and the supply chain.  At that time, one official noted that P&W and CFM… Continue reading

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